Universal Orlando’s new Volcano Bay could remake theme park industry

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We’ve known that Universal Orlando Resort was building a new water park called Volcano Bay to grow its resort along side the five resort hotels and two theme parks. Today we’re getting our first look at the park and some of the experiences it will provide guests. There’s also one little detail that promises to remake how guests experience theme parks all together.

First off, Universal isn’t calling Volcano Bay a water park, they’re calling it a Water Theme Park. There will be 18 attractions spanning 28 fully immersive acres. They’ll be divided across four primary park areas where there’s something for everyone, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below – and a state-of-the-art marquee attraction that will be revealed at a later date.

Part of the promise of Volcano Bay is a hassle-free convenience. This will most likely come in the form of using a wristband system to eliminate the need to carry cash and keys around with you, but also using it to go on any of the big attractions without waiting in a long line. How will they accomplish that? Universal will get rid of the standby line and make everyone get a reserved time to ride.

Universal is currently testing a system like this at Wet-n-Wild. Guests scan their wristband at the entrance of an attraction and are given a time in the future when they can return to ride. In the meantime, they can enjoy any of the wave pools or lazy rivers.

Imagine this at an all-inclusive boutique VIP theme park. Instead of waiting in queue, guests can be enjoying the amenities, shopping, dining, etc. Then when your time is near, your wristband chimes to remind you it’s time to go. Clearly this won’t work at a park that doesn’t have some limits on attendance, but at a boutique park that’s built to serve only a couple thousand guests a day, it’s perfect.

How much would you pay to never have to wait in a queue again?

We’ll get our first taste of theme park of the future at a date before June 1, 2017.